The 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew came into effect on Friday at midnight in the Paris region and in eight other large cities, affecting nearly a third of the country’s population.
People will need a certificate for permitted activities, such as traveling to and from work, seeking medical attention, visiting a dependent relative, or walking a dog.
Those who do not comply face a fine of € 135, while repeat offenders face fines of up to € 3,750.
Some 12,000 police and gendarmes, in addition to municipal police teams, will be deployed to enforce the curfew.
Restaurant owners, for whom the second part of the evening represents an important part of turnover, have complained about this measure.
“The closure at 9 pm will have no effect (on the epidemic). They are not attacking it in the right way, ”declared Gérard, the manager of a Toulouse restaurant.
The French government has defended the measure as the only way to avoid a lockout, at a time when indicators assessing the coronavirus epidemic, such as deaths and hospitalizations, are deteriorating across Europe.
French health authorities recorded more than 25,000 new cases of coronavirus on Friday, with 178 deaths.
The curfew measure, which comes just before the two-week school vacation, contains no travel restrictions, raising hopes that large numbers of families will flee the cities for the country.
Scheduled to last at least four weeks, the curfew could be extended if the outbreak does not show signs of abating. President Emmanuel Macron has already mentioned the date of December 1.
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Italian region of Lombardy tackles second wave of virus
The Italian region of Lombardy, Europe’s first epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, has ordered all bars to close at midnight tonight as it battles a second wave of the virus.
All amateur sporting events have also been suspended in the wealthy northern region where the first cases of Covid-19 in Europe emerged in February.
Under the new restrictions, which will remain in effect until November 6, bars will only be able to serve diners at the table after 6 p.m., and the sale of take-out alcohol is also prohibited after that time.
Lombardy, Italy’s most populous region, has also banned the consumption of food and drink in all outdoor public spaces under the new rules.
Italy has registered 10,925 new coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, the country’s health ministry said on Saturday, against the previous record of 10,010 cases released on Friday.
There were also 47 Covid-related deaths on Saturday, up from 55 the day before.
Lombardy, Italy’s worst-hit region, mainly targets young people, with restrictions on sports, nightlife and education – she has now called on schools to alternate online and in-person lessons.
The latest ordinance also prohibits visits to retirement homes unless authorized by medical authorities.
The second worst-affected Italian region of Campania, in the south of the country, has also introduced new measures, including the controversial closure of schools as well as a ban on parties and funeral processions.
The government of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte last week made the wearing of masks compulsory outside and extended the state of emergency until January 31.
According to the Italian press, Mr. Conte also plans to follow France by imposing a night curfew.
Austria sets new daily record for Covid infections
Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg is self-isolating after testing positive for Covid-19, his ministry said, with the country also posting a new daily record for infections.
Mr Schallenberg could have contracted a coronavirus at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg on Monday, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman told APA news agency.
“He has not shown any symptoms so far,” he said.
The minister canceled a trip planned in the coming days to Britain, Denmark, Greece and Cyprus.
All members of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s conservative government will be tested as a precaution.
Austria reported a new record high of 2,300 cases on Saturday.